Most of us have warm memories that stem from the holiday season. Many of them may include the annual tradition of trimming a tree with garland, lights, and ornaments.
Perhaps, as a child, you had a special ornament that you looked forward to putting up each year, or maybe you received an ornament from a loved one that you remember opening as a gift. Or maybe you have ornaments in your collection that you can recall putting on your very first Christmas tree, or that are tied to powerful memories or experiences in your life.
Holiday ornaments are more than decorations. Ornaments evoke memories and feelings within us, and are passed down through generations as treasured heirlooms. Artist-made ornaments are truly worthy of that keepsake distinction, tying an artist’s personal story to our own.
The Artful Home Ornament Collection has been a highly-anticipated annual occurrence for many years. In the beginning, it consisted of a very small collection of about a dozen ornaments from artists we sought out and asked specifically for their work to be featured.
Some of our artists have created ornaments for us for a number of years, and each ornament they make is exquisite and unique. One of the 2015 ornaments, the Murrini Sphere by Ralph Mossman and Mary Mullaney, was designed specially for Artful Home’s 30th Anniversary.
About the 2015 Murrini Sphere, they said: ”We have been making variations of this popular ornament for Artful Home over the years. It is covered with hundreds of murrini and millefiori made by us in our studio. For this year’s ornament, we created a special new murrini including silhouettes of items sold at Artful Home: a dress, a chalice, a painter’s palette, a ring, and last but not least, a tiny murrini ornament.”
In recent years, we’ve had the luxury of choosing a select, curated collection of stunning ornaments. Each is chosen with a great deal of thought, and we view our collection as a treasure trove, filled with jewels that are each unique and extraordinary.
A customer review of Origami Crane by Adam Parsley highlighted the wonder of artist-made ornaments: “After buying the first for my own tree I was inspired to get the family each one. In a day of mass produced ornaments the quality of the item and the craftsmanship are prized and stand out. This is an item I feel will stand the test of time and be a cherished ornament to pass down for years to come. How he ever gets that paper crane past the opening at 2000 degrees boggles my mind. The item also inspires awe from anyone who views my Holiday tree.”
Some artists absolutely love making ornaments, and that is the form of artistic expression they prefer and their primary product. Other artists are well known for their larger sculptural work, and we take pride in presenting collectors with the opportunity to acquire a miniature work of their art in ornament form, made with the same level of skill as their larger works. In both cases, the pride in our artists’ craft shows in the exquisite ornaments they create.
Loy Allen, on being a part of the Artful Home Ornament Collection: “I have been working with Artful Home since 2010. I met Sally and Lisa at the American Craft Council show in Baltimore. Lisa looked at my work and asked me if I made Christmas ornaments, and I replied that I did not. She asked if I could make my glass insects to hang, and I replied that yes, I could. She then explained that she was interested in them for the Artful Home Christmas ornament collection, and I was very skeptical about glass insects as Christmas ornaments. Wrong!!” Based on the success of that first year, Allen has continued to create incredible ornaments for our collection, like Secret Garden, pictured.
Our collection encompasses a wide variety of glassworking methods — blowmolded, flameworked, fused glass, cold worked, and cast glass, among others. The techniques are as individual as the ornaments and the artists themselves, each ending in a stunning result. The breadth of the collection spans all types of ornaments, from colorful globes to detailed figures, to holiday icons and lifelike creatures.
Each appeals to different people, bringing to mind a favorite memory, a specific gift recipient, or a personal emotion. Even an ornament’s name can evoke feelings, inspiring us to view the ornament in a way we may not have originally thought of.
The Magic Hour by Thomas Steinman is reminiscent of the prized hours shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is softer and redder, making everything look better on film.
The bold red and gold coloration of Tango by R. Jason Howard embodies the passionate dance it is named for.
There is truly something for everyone, and each ornament is extraordinary. Each could be a family heirloom, and the memories and emotions of this year’s collection can be a part of your holiday celebrations for years to come.
Read about the memories the ornament collection creates, and share your own story on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #artfulhomeholidays.